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When the Stock Market Knows No Boundaries When It Comes to Quality

31 July 2007 - Features - Editor

Vital customer interests cannot be limited by national boundaries, as far as stock market stakes are concerned. Investors commonly have trans-national holdings nowadays, in any case. Tainted food products, dangerous toys, and product components that fall apart when you need them the most, are equal disasters, no matter where goods are produced, or the nationalities of people affected.

The media seems to make more of instances of serious defects in foreign goods, while making light of the same issues in domestic produce, but this kind of discrimination does not help any stock market operator. Product liabilities are bad enough, but even the entire market capitalization of a corporation can go for a toss, if an important brand is knocked out of the market. The loss of goodwill and trust is generally more lasting than the immediate financial impacts.

Quality is never an accident, but the result of continuous and systematic efforts. Companies certified by the International Standards Organization offer great solace to stock market interests, because everyone knows that you cannot get or maintain registration without conformance to minimal but effective criteria. However, some corporations prefer to work with internal control systems, and use secrecy to hide quality problems they encounter.

It is for influential stock market quarters to question executives and to ensure that their precious investments are adequately covered by insurance policies and by reviews of quality lapses as well. Always be suspicious when managers fob you off with vague replies to pointed questions about quality matters. There should be statistical records of deviations which have occurred, and regular reviews of sampling techniques, and preventive actions.

Quality lapses may occur deep in a supply chain. The checks that a company employs on incoming consignments may not always uncover faults which a supplier has encountered. Stock market experts typically know less about the technical aspects of the enterprises in which they are invested, than in the business of investing itself, but it pays to read, and to find out minute details of factors that could lead to serious quality mishaps-after all, your money is at stake!

 


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